Barred from last month’s NFL Combine and eager to show pro teams he’s working back from season-ending knee surgery, Chad Kelly was supposed to have his opportunity to impress during Ole Miss pro day on Monday. In yet another tough break, however, a wrist injury forced the former Rebel quarterback to call off his throwing routine after just five minutes.
“It’s just a strained wrist,” Kelly told the Clarion-Ledger after walking off the field 12 throws into what was supposed to be a 35-45 throw script. “It happened earlier last week. I tried pushing through it this whole week. Felt good and then just kinda threw one, turned my wrist over pretty hard.
“It felt weird... so the guys decided to call it quits for the day and hopefully come back in a week or two.”
Kelly will indeed try again—Ole Miss announced that he’s rescheduled a workout for NFL scouts on April 22. Nevertheless, Monday’s setback is a demoralizing blow to a guy whose draft stock has been in steady decline since he limped off the field with an ACL tear in November. Once considered to be one of the top quarterbacks available in 2017, he’s currently projected to be a seventh-round pick by CBS Sports.
Kelly, who was cleared by Dr. James Andrew last week to participate in pro day, wore a heavy brace on his right knee but was moving around fine before the wrist injury.
Kelly was originally invited to the combine and even had his flight to Indianapolis booked, but the league yanked their offer in February, citing a policy that allows them to bar prospects with a violent criminal history. Kelly’s lawyer challenged, pointing out that his client’s 2015 arrest outside of a bar in Buffalo, N.Y. never amounted to anything other than a non-criminal disorderly conduct. The NFL refused to back down, and Kelly watched the combine from home.